Back on the winning trail

Girvan 2

Bellshill Athletic 1

GIRVAN made a welcome return to winning ways on Saturday to see off Bellshill in round one of the West of Scotland Cup.

A goal in either half from Lee McCrae and Stuart Peacock were enough to see the Seasiders into the second round.

The home side were missing John Bradford, so youngster Craig Harvey got his chance to partner Sean McKenna, who was playing against his former club, up front.

And McKenna was involved in the opening goal after only six minutes. His low shot from inside the area was parried by Bellshill keeper James Donnelly into the path of McCrae, who made no mistake from eight yards out.

Brian McLuckie’s men were playing far more purpose and directness than they had in previous weeks and McCrae almost added a second after 20 minutes, but his low angled drive just flew past the wrong side of the right-hand post.

Five minutes later, the Seasiders were given a golden opportunity to double their lead from the penalty spot. Harvey was brought down inside the area by Lee Morrison, but Donnelly got his legs to Neal Gilmour’s spot kick and McKenna could only fire the rebound wide of the target.

Girvan were continuing to dominate proceedings and create chances. McKenna looked like a man possessed, determined to score his former side. He came agonisingly close six minutes before half time when he spun his marker inside the box and his first-time shot just went past the post.

The visitors did get back into the game at the start of the second half but they never really threatened Darren Johnson’s goal.

It was Girvan who always looked the more likely side to score and McKenna went close again but his powerful drive was well stopped by Donnelly in the Bellshill goal on the hour mark.

And Donnelly was forced into action again five minutes later, keeping his side in the game with another top save, this time from Alan Love.

But with six minutes remaining, Girvan got the second goal they fully deserved. The visitors failed to clear a Girvan corner properly and Love floated an inviting cross back into the box and Peacock rose highest to head home and seal his side’s progression in the second round.

The visitors did have time to grab a consolation goal with almost the last kick of the ball, Ryan Connelly tapping home after Johnson failed to collect a cross ball.

Girvan chairman Tam McCreadie was pleased to see his side get a win under their belts. He said: “We played better on Saturday and got the result we deserved. We should’ve had more goals with the amount of chances we created, especially in the first half.

“We now must look to take this form into the league on Saturday against East Kilbride at Hamilton Park, which will be a tough game for us.”